- Howard Pulley Black. With superstar Harrison Barnes and a big summer from Jacob Thomas, the Panthers have to be on top of the list. Chad Calcaterra has demonstrated consistent improvement over the course of the summer.
- Minnesota Pump N Run. Carlos Emory has been huge and the record of good tourney wins in St. Cloud, Denver and their own quality tournament speaks for itself despite bumps in the road in Kansas and Iowa.
- 43 Hoops Harris. Gave Pump N Run a game at the Comets tourney and had All Ohio Red down 20 in Akron at the end of April. Could get another shot at PNR in Chicago in early July. Defensively as tough as anybody in the state.
- Comets Elite-Hanson has to get strong consideration to be in that top tier as they're clearly the best of the rest as shown by a final 4 finish at the Jayhawk Invite. Nobody else from here down can go 10 deep like this group can.
- Net Gain Sports. The MASH unit of the summer with all of their injuries but a sweet 16 finish in Denver (which should have been final 8) is a nice accomplishment. Will be interesting to see what they do with Joe Hanstad back in July. What kind of depth will this squad have?
- Fury Elite. A surprisingly deep roster with Dajon Newell, Yuriy Maleshenko, Danny Geiger and LeDarian Horton to name a few notables. Not spectacular but rock solid.
- Minneapolis Redhawks. Parker Hines and Taylor Hanson lead the way. John Rowland and Cory Booker have made major contributions as role players. Final 4 at the Pump N Run tourney plus making the title game at the Super Regional give them the nod over ...
- TNL Express. 3-0 at the Comets tourney in pool play and had Pump N Run on the ropes before falling apart in the last 9 minutes of that quarterfinal. Since then, their most notable game was a loss to upstart Team Cannon in the quarters of the their Super Regional. Demonstrates why they are the Jekyll and Hyde team of this top 10 as they have the biggest variance in how they play from game to game. Will not playing in the PNR, Jayhawk, or Festival of Teams hurt them this weekend?
- Comets-Seevers. Had a rough start to the season but this team is starting to put it together. Scott Nystrom has been outstanding for them all spring. They knocked off Comets Hanson to win the Comets Clash 2 weeks ago and could get them again in the quarters this weekend at the District AAU Championships.
- Tie: Magic Black and Heat Elite. The Heat have a versatile squad and the trio of Walter Franklin, Deron Murphy and Jeff Fallat is a nice combination for Magic Black.
Mid-Summer 17U Top 10
Now that we're basically at the halfway point of the summer season and I've had a chance to take a look at all of the teams, here's how I'd rank them.
Posted by Twin Cities Hoops Czar on 6/01/2009 11:47:00 PM